NFL MVP Watch: Brady at the Top; Allen is still worth a purchase

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When the calendar turns into December, the NFL MVP race is usually trimmed to a few top candidates. Last year, it was Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers who separated from the herd. This year’s race, however, still feels extremely open with a different candidate each week apparently taking over the role of betting favorite. So how much more shifting will we see between now and the playoffs? It’s time to buy and sell the main candidates.


MVP ur

Tom Brady (+275)

Brady is understandably the favorite, but this is far from a runaway one. He leads the NFL with 30 passing touchdowns and is just 11 passing yards behind that category leader. He has been so solid, and with an 8-3 record, Tampa Bay is fighting for the NFC’s topseed. The Bucs also have five of their last six games against teams that currently have lost records. The other is a home showdown with the Bills, and maybe that will decide the MVP. I think Brady is likely to win this award, but I do not recommend a bet of +275.

Aaron Rodgers (+550)

Finally, we see the betting market react to the reigning MVP and even Green Bay to the futures market. It has been slow to react, but a convincing victory over the Rams has now caused the herd to pull something. Green Bay is 9-3, and if 9-2 Arizona slips, the pack could land one-seed, given their victory over the Cardinals. I expect the Packers to win, but I would not be shocked by losses in Baltimore, home to Cleveland, or home to Minnesota. Given his off-season holidays and COVID-19 misrepresentation, Rodgers is likely to lose some important votes. I’m selling this because voters want to find another elite QB.

Josh Allen (+550)

I think it’s a live ticket. Allen and the Bills will host the NFL’s hottest team on Monday Night Football next week, and I think it’s a great place for Buffalo to win and cover. Allen then travels to Tampa Bay for an MVP showdown with Brady and the Bucs before visiting the Pats two weeks later. He wants focus and he has determined the abilities. If you believe the bills, +550 is good value.

Patrick Mahomes (+800)

How are we doing with Chiefs? Kansas City has won four in a row and has a manageable remaining program. Chiefs can certainly win, but they have also laid some eggs, so how much can we trust them at Chargers and Bengals? With Buffalo with a hard-hitting program, Baltimore is rocking and Tennessee without Derrick Henry, the Chiefs can end up with the AFC’s topseed. +800 is definitely enticing for a guy who can dominate games, but I’m still not sold on Chiefs. It just does not feel right with KC

Dak Prescott (+1200)

He is in battle, but it would take a lot for him to win this award. Dallas should end with one of the top two seeds, and it could certainly happen, but can the defense maintain its strong game long enough? Only one of the Cowboys’ remaining six games is against a team that currently holds a winning record. With 12-1, Prescott is viable, but not something I would support.

Kyler Murray (+1200)

He was the betting favorite, but missing three games essentially prevents him from winning the award, especially because Arizona won 2-1 in those games and Rodgers also outscored him in a primetime game. I need more than 12-1, but he’s electric and Arizona has a good chance of landing the NFC’s topseed.

Lamar Jackson (+1,400)

This is a tough one. The story is there, and Baltimore was able to land the AFC’s top seed. With home games against the Packers, Rams and Steelers, in addition to road games against Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati, the Ravens have too many landmines for an inconsistent team. If Jackson thrives and leads them to more wins, then maybe that does the trick. I’m just missing more than 14-1 to him right now.

Joe Burrow (+4000)

I can not blame anyone for a 40-1 effort. Burrow’s numbers are not overwhelming, and his 12 interceptions are just one behind the leader, but Cincy has a chance to run. Burrow can win over voters with back-to-back home games against the Ravens and Chiefs, in addition to hosting the Chargers this weekend and traveling to Denver and Cleveland. If the Bengals win competitive AFC North, Burrow could conceivably become the MVP. It’s not that far out.

Derek Carr (+7500)

I do not expect this ticket to be redeemed, but 75-1 has my interest. Carr leads the NFL in passing and could get steam if the Raiders make a legitimate playoff game and perhaps win the AFC West. It’s unlikely because they’re so inconsistent, but it can be done. Maybe the tale of a roller coaster season strengthens his chances, but it would take a lot of things to break their path. I’m not biting, but at least I thought about it.

MVP futures

Brady +275
Rodgers +550
Allen +550
Mahoms +800
Prescott +1 200
+1200 Murray
Jackson +1 400
Matthew Stafford +1600
Jonathan Taylor +2000
Justin Herbert +2000


Other prices to see

AFC champion

The Indianapolis Colts blew a double-digit lead Sunday, but I still believe in them. At 25-1 odds, Indy is worth a game to win the AFC. The defense is top notch and the offensive is skilled. It would be a difficult race as they are currently out of the playoffs with a record of 6-6, but the AFC is completely open. With 25-1 to reach the postseason and win three playoff games? Sign me up.

This year’s offensive rookie

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is now +230 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, and New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is the favorite at -300. It feels off. Unlike MVP, this award is not earmarked for quarterbacks. Chase is considered one of the league’s best wide receivers, and his stats are quite impressive. If Pat’s falters, Chase will show up. Also, even if the Pats continue this current race, Bill Belichick and the defense will take most of the credit. Jones has weak road numbers and I see a road for Chase.

NFL rushing TD leader

Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is -150 to lead the NFL in quick touchdowns. He is the current overall leader with 14, and James Connor has 12 with one match more than Taylor left on his schedule. Given their attack, I think Taylor is a strong game. He’s still going to face the Texans, Jaguars and Raiders. Connor faces the Bears, Colts, Rams, Cowboys and Seahawks. None of these defenses are pushovers, and I just trust Indy’s commitment to drive back more than I do Arizona’s.


Super bowl odds

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +525
Kansas City Chiefs +700
Green Bay Packers +750
Buffalo Bills +800
Arizona Cardinals +900
Baltimore Ravens +1100
New England Patriots +1100
Los Angeles Rams +1,200
Dallas Cowboys +1 300
Tennessee Titans +2500

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